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Duty/Grant connections
Posted by: Bonnie Long (ID *****3678) Date: September 04, 2006 at 12:12:28
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I am directly descended from Elizabeth Duty and Wyatt Grant. I have been researching their roots for over 3 years and have yet to turn up their parentage. But here is what I do know for sure:

Wyatt and Elizabeth were both born in North Carolina. (It is not known whether they knew each other there.)

Wyatt volunteered as a militiaman and served in the War of 1812. When Andrew Jackson decided to expand his war, he demanded that the militiamen, who had only agreed to a six month tour, be forced into the regular forces and forced to serve up to two years. When these militiamen refused, many of them were court-martialed, and some of them left the service and were accused of desertion and court-martialed. Over 2,000 men were tried for this very same reason. They felt they had the right to refuse, and Andrew Jackson felt he had the right (even though it was decades before he was President) to demand those men serve as regular army in his war, especially the anti-Indian war. (I have a copy of Wyatt Grant's War of 1812 record which contains the information about his court martial, his sentencing, and his commuting of sentence and discharge.)

Wyatt Grant was one of these militiamen who refused to extend his service and was court-martialed. He was held in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was tried. He was sentenced to death but it was commuted to dishonorable discharge. This was in the fall of 1815.

After this,in 1815, Wyatt Grant and Elizabeth Duty were married in Posey County, Indiana. As far as I know (and someone please correct me if I am wrong), this is the earliest incursion of the Duty/Grant folks into this area. It would be great to know if Elizabeth and Wyatt had been together ever since they left North Carolina, or if they met in Tennessee during the war. But in any event, they left Nashville, then married in Indiana so quickly that it is surely as a result of the court martial.

And here are some further bits of information: It not only just so happens that they are a Duty/Grant couple who lived in Posey County, Indiana, but that they are a Duty/Grant couple who ended up in Williamson County, Illinois. Wyatt is buried in Crossroads Cemetery, and he was apparently so proud of his War of 1812 service (in spite of the fact that he was very nearly unjustly executed) that his grave stone says he served as a private in the War of 1812.

I do not believe it can be a coincidence that there are so many other Grant/Duty couples and so many Grants and Duty family members who resided in both Posey County, Indiana, and in Williamson County, Illinois. Why would John Duty and Anna Grant go to Posey County, Indiana, and be married, and then move on to Williamson County, Illinois, if they had no connection to other Duty and Grant family members there?

I just wish I knew how to tie Wyatt and Elizabeth to the others, and to find the earliest dates that the other arrived in those same places.

--Bonnie Long

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